Wane: Rhinos should be prepared for a tough game

Wigan's Tony Clubb and Michael McIlorum
Wigan's Tony Clubb and Michael McIlorum

SHAUN Wane has fired a warning shot across the Pennines – and told Leeds to be braced for a fierce challenge on Friday night.

The Warriors will go into the Headingley heavyweight tussle as underdogs.

We put 50 on them not long ago and we need to go with that mentality. We can’t go there and let them play tick and pass

Shaun Wane

But Wane says his players are ready to step up to the mark and build on their 13-12 victory over Hull FC last time out. Asked how tough he expects the televised encounter to be, he replied: “Well it will be tough for them because we’re not happy.

“We’re happy we got the win, but not happy they got to within a point and could have sneaked it, so Leeds will be in for a tough game.

“There’s a history there – a healthy respect – but they like playing us, we like playing them.”

Wane’s Warriors blitzed the Rhinos 50-8 at Headingley in his first season as head coach. He has lost both games at the ground since, though his record against the Yorkshire giants at all grounds is impressive, with four victories from their last five meetings.

“We put 50 on them not long ago and we need to go with that mentality,” he said. “We can’t go there and let them play tick and pass, I’m not into that. We need to go there and challenge them.”

Wane will name his 19-man squad today and hinted Logan Tomkins may come back into the frame as bench hooker, with George Williams reinstated to stand-off following Sam Powell’s injury layoff.

Wigantoday.net revealed yesterday how Powell and prop Ryan Sutton had joined Josh Charnley on the sidelines.

Powell has a torn calf which will sideline him for six weeks while Wane intends to rest Sutton for at least three weeks after he suffered a second concussion of the season.

Dom Crosby and Dom Manfredi should also come back into the mix.

“I’m never comfy whinging about injuries – if you ask me who’s fit and who’s not I’ll tell you – but we have 35 people in the squad and when this happens, it’s no big deal,” said Wane.

Zak Hardaker could be back playing for Leeds after he was released without charge by police.

The 23-year-old full-back was dropped by his club for last Thursday’s Super League game at Warrington after it emerged that, along with team-mate Elliot Minchella, he was wanted in questioning over an alleged assault.

In a statement issued yesterday, Leeds said: “Both players have been released without charge and the investigation is now concluded. The Rhinos will continue their internal investigation surrounding the incident however both players will be available for selection this week.”